Are guinea a good choice for my situation

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by pinkfoxfarm, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. pinkfoxfarm

    pinkfoxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2011
    In LaLaLand
    i bought 4 1/2 acres in october.
    the land has been seriously neglected for the past 14 years, its mostly overground brush and woods (lots of fallen leaves and plenty of lower brnaches)

    the back of the property and one side is fenced with an OLD woven wire fence...
    the front and other side of the property is not fenced at all.
    (i do plan to fence the entire property eventually but...i cant even get to most of the property to fence it right now.)
    to the back of my property is woodland that belongs to a neighboring proptery that has been "adbandoned" for over 15 years according to my direct neighbor...its heavily wooded. to the none fenced side is my direct neighbor. hes talking about putting a privicy fence between us...
    to the far side, thats already got the old woven fence up is an open feild/neighbors back yard and then more woods...
    and infront of meare 2 more neighbors who are relitivly close, a main road is infront of thier properties.

    i have 2 baby goats who are going to be my front line in getting this place cleared out...
    BUT...i have a metric buttload of fleas and ticks around here and i need to get them under control too!

    ovbiously guinea are tick eating machines...BUT short of 8ft fencing around the entire property is it feesable to "keep them home" with 4 1/2 acres of woodland and brush?!

    also how feesable, given the property has alot of lower branches pine trees, would it be to let a flock freerange full time without an LGD?

    im guessing since fences arnt realy good for keeping guinea out from anywhere they realy want to go (ive seen them get over 6ft fences) and putitng up a fence right now is literally impossible...
    Would guinea be the best choice or woudl it be better to just go with chickens right off the batt?
    i need to get the tick population under control, there going after the goats, the dogs, the cats and more importantly ME and i aparently have a nasty reaction to tick and flea bites (i Welt badly at a tick bite site, and rash up badly with flea bites.)
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Guineas can be conditioned/trained to stay closer to home, but it will take a lot of time and effort on your part to work with the birds consistently and correct them when they wander too far. Once they are fully feathered at around 6 weeks old, they'll need a good solid 6 weeks in their coop/run so they learn where home/food/safety is and also get used to you and all the sights and sounds of your place before you even start working ion free ranging them. Fences for a visual boundary along with the conditioning/training definitely helps the process move along a little faster.

    The problem with brushy land (besides the ticks) is the predator cover it provides, so you may have a lot of losses, be it Guineas or chickens... predators aren't picky, lol. And once a predator gets a free meal they tend to keep coming back until you have no birds left. Free ranging Guineas (or chickens) before you have your land fenced probably won't last long at all without an LGD, unless you can supervise them all day and put them up safe each night in a predator proof coop.

    I wouldn't say you are facing the impossible tho, because I started with 10+ acres of brush and ticks... I added Goats, Guineas and a Donkey, did a ton of brush clearing and huge burn piles, and did eventually get the ticks and the brush under control (and the 10+ acres fully fenced)... lost a lot of Guineas in the meantime to predators tho.
     
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Id say get more guineas than you think you need for the time being. Good luck. I have eighteen acres that I havent been able to fence and cross fence.... sigh. But my neighbors are each on twenty acre parcels.

    deb
     
  4. pinkfoxfarm

    pinkfoxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2011
    In LaLaLand
    thanks :)
    i guess given the hatchery minimum orders are so high anyway if i want little keets to put in the brooder id definatly get at least double the amount i think i want in the end...
    boundry training them could be tough, the reason i cant get a fence up yet is i phycially cant get the the boundry lines, theres 14 years of pine trees, wild brambles and Japanese privet (im talking some at almost 30ft tall and up to 10ft across in some places) consuming most of my acreage right now...once you get through the privet lines through (looks like origionally the privet was planted as a privicy headge because its heaviest concentrated around the property line and now its just well...everywhere as japanese privet is prone to do)

    I know the goats will take care of the privet (at least enough for me to get in there and start hacking it back) for me but itll be a whiel as there still babies yet lol.
    i will eventually be getting an LGD or 2, but without perimeter fencing im not ready for them yet...
     
  5. ericsplls

    ericsplls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2010
    There's no fence tall enough to keep guineas in. I have seen them in the tops of tall pine trees. Just wandering how do you plan to contain the goat.
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I am not the OP but, one of the ways my cousin keeps the goats contained is to chain them to a tire. Long enough chain so they have lots of space to graze. She also puts the goats water bucket in the middle of the tire so if they drag it anywhere their water goes with it. With the chaining out part you have to keep an eye on them so they dont get hung up or tangled but it can be done with careful management.

    The other way is to rig temporary electric fencing. Temporary fencing is wayyy different than perminent in that you dont really have to follow property lines or set the posts in concrete. Temporary posts are designed to be placed by pressing barbs in with a foot or hammer. Easy to remove and move too.

    Hmmmm.... I am thinking now that I may give my goats a try at the staking out thing.

    deb
     
  7. NoisyCricket

    NoisyCricket Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2011
    "Once they are fully feathered at around 6 weeks old, they'll need a good solid 6 weeks in their coop/run so they learn where home/food/safety is and also get used to you and all the sights and sounds of your place before you even start working ion free ranging them."
    So they need a total of 12 weeks locked up before free ranging? What if they are brooded in their coop? I have keets coming this week and need to get them out eating ticks ASAP as we are being over run this year. I don't want to let them out too soon though and have them leave.
     
  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    When to free range young birds is really a personal choice, not everyone waits as long as I do, not everyone keeps them in their new coop/run for 6 weeks either. Sometimes sooner works perfectly fine, other times it's a fiasco if you let them out free range too soon. Ultimately it really depends on how well protected they are from predators on your land while out free ranging. Younger birds are smaller, less aware/alert of dangers (because they are lacking street smarts so to speak) and are more easily picked off by predators, especially by quick sneaky ground predators and super fast hawks that attack from the sky. And knowing Guineas the way I know mine... they don't have much brain mass until they are at least 12 weeks old, lol.
     
  9. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yup, takes 6 of them to make one brain. I started this flock with 20 keets. Penned them for 3 months before ranging them. They wandered about a mile range. During the first year I lost all but 3. Those three musta got all the brains, because they stay home and continue to thrive in their 3rd year. Last 2 years I've had a lab pup grow up outside. He loves the birds and probably would love the coons, etc, if they came around, but usually they don't and it's probably his scent that protects the flock.I have lost some chickens and geese, but the guineas thrive. They roost in the rafters of my pole barn, which helps with the owls also. Oh, before I forget, some folks have suggested just letting a few birds out at a time and let them get accustomed to home before letting all of them out. They are very social, so that will probably work..........Pop
     
  10. NoisyCricket

    NoisyCricket Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2011
    LOL, thank you both. I guess I will just see how it goes. I plan on having hides in the pasture for protection from the hawks, and the Mastiffs mostly keep other predators away.
    To the OP, sorry for derailing your thread.
     

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